It makes sense to follow the lessons we learn, huh? Well, my life is a poor example of this, at times. Old habits die hard, and new habits easily fizzle. I really am attempting to carve more time to draw near to God purposefully, and sometimes my attempts are a big fat joke in the land of littles.
However, I know without spending time with Jesus, I will wither away. I will reproduce rotting fruit in the lives of my children. I will breathe resentment into my husband’s ear. Friendships will lack life–actually withdrawal will be my theme song. When I fight to spend time with the Lord and make it a point, I am fighting for my children and my husband and my heart.
In the last few weeks, the Holy Spirit has whispered “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, as well.” That does not seem like the truth until we actually practice it.
Our brains and adrenaline are on full steam to our lists 1. breakfast, 2. carpool, 3. laundry, 4. job pressures and success, 5.kid’s activities, 6.church activities, 7.friendships, 8. marriage (oh, I am supposed to work at that?), 9. tv time (I deserve it, right?), 10. cooking, 11. cleaning, 12. answering texts, 13. surfing facebook and instagram, etc, etc, etc. When I jump to that list first, the battle is already lost. My heart responds in anxiety and production mode, and the very reason I have been redeemed is forgotten. I tend to think in practicality and what people can do for me, how things are inconveniencing me instead of thinking with the mind of Christ. I defer to worship of my idols–comfort and ease instead of the One True Magnificent Glorious God. I make a pitiful trade when I do not trust that whisper of “seeking Him first.” That pitiful trade shapes my heart.
I chose to forgo a list of pretty important things first thing this morning to listen to His word and to still by heart before Him. I say this not in pride, but I share it in humility. I have made the pitiful trade all too often, and I know this is not the path of Life.
The enemy wants to whisper the lie “avoid that time–you know you don’t know where to start. All you will feel is guilt and condemnation. You are too far gone. I would question if you were a believer in the first place.”
Yet, The God of all Universes brought me to a chapter in Psalms that shouted the Good News into the depths of my toes.
Psalm 106–GO THERE. BEGIN THERE. DO.IT.NOW.
When I look at a passage like this in the Psalms, I make notes. I list the descriptions of who God is and what He does as well as another list that pertains to my character and actions. This passage is a biography of the Israelites from Egypt until the captivity and return. Knowing the historic background is important. So, the actions of the people-were Israel’s choices and beliefs, but every single one nails my heart.
I am going to briefly overview this, but I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord in this. Examine it yourself.
Israel’s character/actions (aka Nailed Jen on these): gave no thought to His miracles, do not remember His kindness, Rebels, forgot all His past works, gave into their craving in the desert, grew envious, forgot the God who saved them, despised Him, did not believe His promise, yoked themselves to Baal (a foreign god), ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods, rebelled against the Spirit of God, did not obey the LORD, mingled and adopted the customs of those not of God (they were strictly forbidden to intermarry, etc in order to preserve the teachings, holiness of God), worshipped idols WHICH BECAME A SNARE TO THEM, sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons, shed innocent blood of sons and daughers, defiled themselves in their deeds, prostituted themselves by their deeds
He saved me for His namesake to make His mighty power known. Psalm 106:8 (jen paraphrase)
Many times He delivered them, but they were bent on their rebellion and wasted away in their sin. Psalm 106:43
But He took note of their distress when He heard their cry; for their sake, He remembered His covenant and out of His great love He relented. Psalm 106:44-45
Lovely list–Autobiographical list for me. Obviously I am not killing my children, but our culture surely celebrates this–getting rid of that which is inconvenient. And, how many times do I treat my own children in that vein? Or how many times do I not trust the Lord and his ways over cultural norms for kids? This shows the state of the hearts of mankind apart from Him, BUT GOD…Just those three verses above speak of His character, His goodness, His unmerited favor toward those who trust in Christ’s sacrifice. Thanks be to God for this INDESCRIBABLE GIFT.
THIS, my friends, is why we need time with Him daily–time in His truth. We are pulled up out of our own temporal thoughts and reminded of glorious truth, and then, we, in turn, think more in His hope and His mindset. There is no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus, and there is much joy walking with Him. I know it is a battle, but I am reminded that it is ALL that is Hope and Life and Light and Truth for us. Love to you.